It has been a busy Spring here at Firetrail Designs.

Fresh Market Flowers 2, our latest flower collection, was released a few weeks ago, perfect timing for some Spring sewing. And now we are happy to announce that the latest installment of our Let’s Play Dolls collection began shipping to local quilt shops this past week!

Party Dress Panel

In this latest collection of Let’s Play Dolls we combined a few of our favorite things- baking, birthdays and parties! As we design new panels we think about what our 18″ doll still needs in her wardrobe. Of course she needs a fun party dress to wear at her next birthday party or other special event! We decided on kind of a flirty, drop waist dress in a bold, zebra print. Paired with a matching shoulder bag and your 18″ doll is all set to party.

Drop Waist Party Dress in Aqua

Drop Waist Party Dress in Aqua

With this “party” theme in mind, we thought about all the fun party treats and cakes that we like to make getting ready for a special event. Why not add a fun apron, chef hat and oven mitt so that the 18″ dolls can have fun baking too? The cupcake apron is reversible and comes complete with pockets and adjustable straps.

18" Doll in the Kitchen

18″ Doll in the Kitchen

We also created a separate child’s size apron panel so that little girls can have a matching apron!

Matching Kid's Apron Panel

Matching Kid’s Apron Panel

Last but not least we added a few party decorations to the “party” panel, a table cloth filled with sweet treats and a matching party banner. Put them all together and you have the perfect 18″ doll party!

New Installment of Let's Play Dolls: Let's Party

New Installment of Let’s Play Dolls: Let’s Party

All three panels are available in the 2 color ways shown, pink and aqua. Feel free to mix and match! We have also experimented with mixing in a some of the other items in our Let’s Play Dolls wardrobe and they pair perfectly too.

Let's Party Apron and Decor Panel

All of the Let’s Party panels are available at local quilt shops in your area (find one HERE) or Online. As with all of our Let’s Play Dolls panels we have Step-by-Step tutorials for each of the panels on our website.

Happy Spring and Let’s Party!


Spring is definitely here in the Pacific Northwest and it is so exciting to get out in the garden and see all the plants coming to life. This exciting start to the new season has also inspired my Spring sewing. Time to break away from the cozy winter colors and fabrics and dig out the vibrant, exciting colors of Spring.

New Arrival just in time for Spring!

New Arrival just in time for Spring!

Just in time for Spring sewing, our fabric latest collection, Fresh Market Flowers 2, has arrived from Andover Fabrics. In our first collection of Market Flowers we put together all of our favorites to pick up at the local farmers market or down at Pike Place in Seattle. As a follow-up, we wanted to include the flowers market you can find right in your own backyard. Roses, sunflowers, hydrangeas, peonies and one of our favorites in springtime, magnolias!

Spring in the Northwest with Fresh Market Flowers 2

Spring in the Northwest with Fresh Market Flowers 2


Mix and match your favorite prints to create your own “bouquet.” Perfect for table runners, place mats and other items to enjoy around the house. We have also seen lots of amazing floral fabrics in ready to wear fashion this season- maybe a flirty sundress or gathered skirt will be the perfect addition to your spring wardrobe.

We have also come up with a few great quilt ideas to combine some of these beautiful florals. Our FREE downloadable pattern, Garden Scroll, reminds us of a garden trellis or an English garden laid out in beautiful blocks of color. Inspired by a traditional churn dash quilt block but then we added our own twist to it with the fabric placement.

Garden Stroll Downloadable Quilt Pattern

Garden Stroll Downloadable Quilt Pattern

We also re-imagined our best-selling pattern, Focus Feature, using a selection of the latest Fresh Market Flowers. Perfect sewing project for weekend sewing this Spring.

Our Focus Feature Pattern with Fresh Market Flowers

Our Focus Feature Pattern with Fresh Market Flowers

The possibilities this Spring are endless! We can’t wait to see what you come up with. Now time to get sewing!

Happy Spring!


Earlier this summer we were sewing up a storm getting ready for the Quilt! Knit! Stitch! show down in Portland, Oregon. In addition to all our fun Let’s Play Dolls panels and accessories, we took some of our other best selling patterns- one of which was our Hang it Up! Organizer pattern.

Since its release over a year ago, our Hang it Up! pattern has been our top seller due to its versatility and ability to be adapted for any number of uses. It started out as a great way for little girls to contain all of those 18″ doll clothes and accessories. Well, you can’t forget the little boys, so we made a version perfect for holding toy cars or even for organizing small building block or other bits and pieces they collect.


We have also come up with all different ideas for the adults as well… I personally love using my Hang it Up! to help keep all of my electronic accessories (chargers, cords, cases, cards, etc) all in one place. Best of all I can just tuck it away in the closet until the next time I need something. No more digging through drawers and pulling out a tangled mess! It is also perfect for organizing jewelry- the clear pockets make it so easy for you to find just what you are looking for.

Hang it Up Display in Portland, OR

Hang it Up Display in Portland, OR

One of our customers emailed us last year with her own variation- She made up the Doll Closet Version (with the clothes bar at the bottom) added  few shower curtain rings to the rod and created the perfect place to keep all her scarves and matching jewelry. She made a few of them as gifts for her family and friends- such a great idea! The possibilities are endless and you are sure to come up with your own unique version and use.


In making quite a few of these organizers over the past year we have come up with a few tricks that will really save you some time, especially if you are making more than one.

The first trick is to use a Bias Tape Maker. I have gone years without one of these and totally regret it! This handy little tool will save you so much time- you can whip up yards and yards of double folded bias in no time.

Bias Tape Maker

Bias Tape Maker

I was always one of those people that pressed the fabric strip in half and then went back and pressed the edges to the center burning my fingers in the process. Just feed that fabric strip through the bias maker and it does almost all of that folding for you. Best of all NO fingers close to the iron!

Making Bias Tape

Making Bias Tape


One slight change in the instructions for the Hang it Up!– rather than cutting 2-1/2″ strips you only need to cut 2″ or 2-1/4″ strips so that they feed through the bias maker easily.


The next trick is to always have Wonder Clips on hand. Really this is more of a rule for  all sewing projects… I LOVE my Wonder Clips.

Wonder Clips 10 Pack

Wonder Clips 10 Pack


These handy clips were originally developed for attaching binding to your quilts but have become a sewing room staple. They are the perfect pin alternative- for when a pin just can’t handle a tough job or you don’t want to put all those holes in you project (like on vinyl or leather). They are the perfect tool when preparing your rows for the organizer.

Wonder Clips Holding Pocket Pleats in Place

Wonder Clips Holding Pocket Pleats in Place


Last but not least, Painters tape can be a miracle worker! I have used blue painters tape for years when I am sewing to mark unusual seam allowances on my machine base or to label quilt blocks or rows, but this handy tape can be super helpful when sewing with vinyl or laminated fabrics.

First, if you don’t have a Teflon foot for your machine, stick a bit of tape to the underside of your foot to prevent the vinyl from sticking or catching. Then, you can also apply it to any area (metal especially) on you machine where the vinyl likes to catch.This will save you a lot of aggravation. Some recommend sewing with the vinyl between layers of paper or tissue but I find this tedious and I really don’t like having to pick out all the paper bits when I am done sewing.


Those are all of the tricks that I have for now. I hope they make sewing your Hang it Up! Organizers a bit easier, or that you can apply these tips to the rest of your sewing. It is amazing where little tricks you pick up came in handy.

Happy Sewing!


P.S With a all of the new fabric that is available and a brand new booth and show, we decided to change up some of our models and try some new combinations. We also kitted up some of these great fabrics and combinations to take to the show for easy shopping. A few of these kits are NOW available on our website while they last!

Over the past couple of years making lots of 18″ doll clothes we have discovered a few tools and tricks that make all the difference when sewing 18″ Doll Clothes.


Fuse 'n Gather

Fuse ‘n Gather

This amazing product is a fusible gathering tape that lets you create gathers or ruffles effortlessly. Simply iron the pre-stitched fusible  tape on the wrong side of the fabric where you would like the gathers.

Ironing the Fuse 'n Gather Tape

Ironing the Fuse ‘n Gather Tape

Gently pull the blue threads and you get perfectly spaced gathers every time. They pull so easily that you will never want to stitch your own basting stitches again!

Gathered Princess Peplum

Gathered Princess Peplum

The best part of this product you don’t have to worry about pulling out those basting stitches when you are done. They are hidden from view on the wrong side of you project. We use this handy tape on any of our 18″ doll outfits that requires gathering. It is especially helpful on the Princess Costume!

Let's Pretend: Princess Costumes

Let’s Pretend: Princess Costumes



One of our favorite new tools is the Hold It Precision Stiletto from Joan Hawley and Clover.

Hold It Precision Stiletto


This is the most versatile stiletto that we have ever used. One end is made out of heat-resistant silicone and is perfect for pressing seams open. Especially the tiny seam on doll clothes. Just think… no more burned fingertips!

Pressing seams open with the heat resistant stiletto.

Pressing seams open with the heat-resistant stiletto.

The other end, your more traditional stiletto point, is great for guiding fabric when sewing. Perfect for holding pieces in place while keeping your fingers clear from the fast-moving needle. The innovate curved tip also makes it so that you have the greatest visibility when sewing.

Sewing with the more traditional stiletto end.

Sewing with the more traditional stiletto end.

One last great advantage to this handy tool is its overall design. It fits perfectly in your hand- not to small- so no hand strain after hours of sewing. This tool never strays far from our machines- well, unless it is over at the pressing board.



While our next tip is a bit more of an investment, it is definitely worth it. We have a couple different mini ironing boards that we have picked up over the years and they have proven to be very useful in making doll clothes and other small projects. Makes sense right? A mini ironing board for mini clothes! Using one of these boards does wonders when pressing collars, sleeves, etc. Just slip them over the end of the board and you get a perfect press every time.

Mighty Mini Ironing Board

Mighty Mini Ironing Board

Mini ironing boards have been a little tricky to find. Recently Joan Hawley worked with Clover to develop the Mighty Ironing Board as part of her Press Perfect line of tool (the same line that includes the Stiletto from #2).

While it  is a bit larger (4 inches wide) than some of the other boards that we have tried, it does have the best construction and is very sturdy when you are working with it. And the best part, the cover is washable and replaceable! It is definitely one to consider.



Last but not least, our favorite closure for all of our doll clothes- Hook and Loop Tape! While we do use snaps of buttons every once in a while when the style of the outfit calls for something different, we use hook and loop tape for nearly all of our doll clothes.

It is the easiest for us to apply and also the easiest for children to use during dress up. A hook and loop closure makes the doll clothes so easy to put on and take off and it  holds up well after hours of play time. You won’t be loosing any buttons or pulling off any snaps.

Colored Hook and Loop Tape

Colored Hook and Loop Tape

We even have a whole stash of colored hook and loop so that we can coordinate it with the outfit- sometimes black or white just won’t do. It also makes it less noticeable when the colors coordinate, even if they don’t match exactly. We also don’t worry about the width of the hook and loop tape that we buy- we simply trim it down to about 1/2″ or smaller depending on the outfit or garment.


We hope these tools and tips eliminate some of the frustration in your sewing. Whether it is 18″ doll clothes or another sewing/quilting projects it is so important to find those little things that make life a little easier.

Happy Sewing!

Sharon and Michelle

P.S. All of these products can be found at your Local Quilt Shop or sewing supply store. We also have some of them available on our Website.

There is no denying it… Fall is upon us!

Stores are setting up their Halloween and Harvest displays and my Pinterest feed is filled with great ideas and recipes for my favorite season. While the weather hasn’t quite changed yet here in the Pacific Northwest, I am so ready. Bring on the rainy days, hot cocoa, late night sewing and baked apple anything!

In honor of the arrival of Fall and with Halloween just around the corner we are unveiling TWO new Let’s Play Dolls panels from Andover Fabrics– a Princess and a Rock Star doll costumes. Perfect for dressing up on October 31st or anytime during the rest of the year.

Princess and Rock Star

Let’s Pretend: Rock Star and Princess Costumes

Each costume comes in a PINK and an AQUA colorway, and the aqua princess reminds us of a certain “frosty” princess that is all the rage these days.

New Princess and Rock Star Outfits

Like all of our Let’s Play Dolls panels, both costumes fit most 18″ dolls and we have step-by-step picture tutorials posted on our website should you get stuck while you are sewing. They also each come with a great accessory to complete the look. The Rock Star panel comes with a Zebra print headband that can also be used as the perfect hair tie. The Princess panel comes with an adorable little crown that you can decorate with rhinestones and glitter to really make it shine.

Let’s Pretend: Princess Panel in Pink

Each of the Let’s Pretend panels are available at local quilt shops (find one near you HERE) and Online. Watch for a helpful tutorial using one of our favorite notions here on the blog- it will definitely come in handy while you are stitching up the Princess dress. Now time to get back to sewing!

Enjoy the Arrival of Fall!


P.S. We have added some adorable shoes and accessories to our website that match the costumes perfectly. Be sure to check them out.

Lavender harvest is in full swing this month all across the country (even the world!). It is one of my favorite parts of summer. Fresh cut lavender smells so good and I just can’t get enough. This spring I even started my own lavender hedge around my greenhouse. I can’t wait until it grows in a bit and I have all the lavender I could ever ask for.

Lavender in my garden!

Lavender in my garden!

Not only does this wonderful herb smell so incredible, it is my go to cure for those pesky mosquito bites I get when I am out working in the garden in the evening. Just a dab of essential oil and they disappear! I also love having it next to my bed or on my pillow to help me drift off to sleep.


In honor of the Lavender season we wanted to share with you our Lavender Bliss: Project Booklet filled with projects that you can make using dried lavender. One of my favorites is this Hanger Cover. It helps protect my clothes while also bringing a bit of freshness to my closet. The booklet includes sachets, pincushions, spa essential and lots more.

Lavender Hanger Cover project included in the booklet.

Lavender Hanger Cover project included in the project booklet.

We are also excited to announce the arrival of a new lavender print fabric! This is the perfect print for all of those small projects and don’t you just love the color?

Our latest lavender fabric print in purple.

Our latest lavender fabric print in purple.

THIS WEEK ONLY! With each Lavender Bliss: Project Booklet ordered we will be including a FREE fat eighth of our latest lavender fabric. Begins 7/21/14 and ends 7/27/14. Visit our website at or simply CLICK on the image below.

Lavender Bliss: Project Booklet Cover

Lavender Bliss: Project Booklet

P.S. For those of you that don’t have a lavender farm near where you live, we have Dried Organic Lavender Florets on our website so that you don’t miss out! (Certified organic by the Washington State Department of Agriculture)

I am loving every minute of this Spring in the Pacific Northwest. The garden is in full bloom and all of the colors are just breathtaking. Rhododendrons, azaleas, and tree blossoms galore.

Incredible color on this purple Azalea. Perfect for 2014- the color of the year is Radiant Orchid after all : )

Incredible color on this purple Azalea. Perfect for 2014- the color of the year is Radiant Orchid.

I think everyone is jumping at the chance to get out in the garden every chance they get. We have been getting a day or two of rain and then a couple of days of sun. Perfect weather for getting things done both inside and outside. There are lots of wonderful sprouts peeking out of the ground and the vegetable starts in the greenhouse are really starting to take off.

Zucchini, Pumpkins and Squash... Oh My!

Zucchini, Pumpkins and Squash… Oh My!

I have been spending way too many evenings surfing Pinterest and my garden board is overflowing with ideas. Now that spring is here and I have been able to put of few of these great ideas into action. First, the Potato Tower I built with some left over chicken wire. It took 2 bags of compost to fill, YIKES! But I think it will produce an amazing potato crop, fingers-crossed.  It hasn’t sprouted yet but I have been reassured by fellow gardeners not to worry.

A Pinterest Experiment- the Potato Tower

Pinterest Experiment- the Potato Tower

I also got some AMAZING wine boxes from a friend and have started planting some of my starts and vegetables in them for the Greenhouse. They just look so cool… it has only been a couple of weeks so I will have to let you know how it goes. Again, thank you Pinterest!

Another Pinterest Experiment- Growing in Wine Boxes

Another Pinterest Experiment- Growing in Wine Boxes

I will leave you with this adorable sign that I found at a local nursery, “We are so excited about our garden… we wet our plants!” I am putting this in the Greenhouse, along with this amazing owl, and it totally describes how I am feeling about the garden this spring.

Adorable garden sign for the Greenhouse.

Adorable garden sign for the Greenhouse.

I can’t wait until I can start to enjoy/eat all of the incredible crops.

Happy Growing!


P.S. I have been posting a few teasers about some new projects on our Facebook Page. Be sure to “Like” us.

%d bloggers like this: